In the Woodshed with Robert Frost,
Photo credit: Bob Moore,
taken while touring the Frost Farm, at Derry, NH, 2023.

An Axe’s Tale
by Bob Moore

How did I heat the Derry home
before there was a truck to haul
the fuel, before a switch was used
to turn the burner on, before
the owner sold the land and with
the sale would move his clan across
the sea, before his stories were
retold in common speech, before
a publisher would find his poems
worth a second scan, before
he came back with two books and found
his first book published in the states?

The oak and apple trees were split
with his hand wrapped around my belly,
the other on my throat, he used
my sharpened blade to cleave the weathered
wood along the grain, and let
the blade’s weight do the cutting work.
I leaned against a wall when all
the timber was reduced to cords.
I watched the family fuel the stove
and cook the meals. I then had time
to rest and warmed up with the family
when the stove was stoked, and did
the work again each year until
they went and left me stuck right here.


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